Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brooklyn's Birth Story

So, I figure it's about time I updated the blog now that my baby girl is over 2 months old! Brooklyn Grace Merkley joined our family on February 9th at 2:15 PM weighing in at 6 lbs 4 oz and 19.5 inches long. She came pretty quickly and unexpectedly 2 weeks early! I woke up around 4:30 that morning with pretty mild contractions 6 minutes apart and continued to track them as I packed a hospital bag and Chris installed the carseat (as I said, unexpectedly early!) Chris continued to get ready for school because I couldn't decide what to do, but by the time he really had to decide to leave or not my contractions were three minutes apart and I could no longer talk through them. So we decided to leave for the hospital at 9 and left Jake with one of Chris's good friends Aaron Stoker and his friend Whitney who happened to be staying with us for a dental school interview (that was lucky!). When we got to the hospital I was in a good amount of pain (I don't know why, but my contractions were much stronger than they ever were with Jake) but unfortunately I was hardly even dilated to a 2. Because I was 2 weeks early, they would not do anything to progress my labor and made us walk laps around the hospital for an hour to see if it would help. After this frustrating and painful hour of walking (during which I became increasingly grumpy) the poor nurse who was trying to be so nice had to inform me that I was still only at a 2 and they were going to have to send me home to wait it out. Luckily, my doctor was in a surgery and was unable to confirm their decision, so we were stuck waiting for his approval for another hour. When it came time to try getting a hold of my doctor again, they decided to check me just in case and were shocked to find that I was now dilated to 6cm. I was finally moved into a delivery room. All I wanted at this point was an epidural (my contractions were now less than 2 minutes apart and strong!) and I'm afraid I was not being very patient or kind. Because they were planning on sending me home, I now had to wait for them to really check me in and for a full bag of fluid from the IV to go through before they would call in the anesthesiologist. I don't think I've ever been more happy to see a stranger before. I love epidurals. Once the epidural got working I was much happier and actually had to be put on oxygen because I was apparently TOO relaxed! Throughout all of this my water had remained unbroken, and we were now just waiting for my doctor to leave his surgery so that he could come up and break it for me. Unfortunately, he was very willing to let me just wait. So we waited and waited until I began feeling an increase in pressure and asked a nurse to come and check me again. She was very surprised to find that I was fully dilated and Brook was all ready to go! They called my doctor and told him he HAD to come up now, so he came and broke my water (and commented that he thinks my water will never break on it's own, bummer) and we got ready to push immediately. After waiting so long for him to come up, Brook was already as low as she could have possibly gotten on her own, and it only took a couple good pushes to deliver her. I think it was only a total of about 4 minutes from the time the doctor broke my water to the time she was born! I did end up needing a couple stitches for a small tear, but other than that it was a pretty smooth delivery. They handed her right to me and I couldn't help but cry. She was so tiny and beautiful and it was just as special and miraculous as Jake's birth all over again. She had a good amount of brown hair and big blue eyes. She also had a little crooked nose (smooshed a little to one side), but that straightened itself out after a few days. It was pretty cute while it lasted though. Jake came to meet her a few hours later and was very interested for about 5 minutes and then got bored. But he has turned into such a good big brother since! He still just calls her "baby" and will always look for her when he wakes up and remember to say goodnight to her when we're putting him to bed. He LOVES to snuggle with her and give her kisses (which often end up as smothering, but his intentions are always good!). He is also very good at sharing with her and I will often find little cars and other toys in her bouncer or balanced on her head. Luckily Brooklyn is a much better sleeper than Jake was so I have been able to get some rest. She is a very sweet, good little girl and we love her so much! She's got Chris wrapped around her little finger, and has already learned to save her best smiles for him (how come the mom never gets these little victories??). It's a little crazy sometimes as I'm still trying to figure out life with two kids, but we are loving our family of four and feel so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful, healthy children. There really is no greater blessing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Update

A lot has happened in the last few weeks, so I will just hit on the highlights! We had our Merkley family reunion in July in Zion National Park. It was so beautiful and so much fun to be with all the Merkleys! All of Chris's immediate family was there and most of the extended Glade Merkley family made it as well so we had a blast with so many cousins and aunts and uncles around. We played lots of games (including the traditional Mormon Bridge tournament), went swimming, hiked, and had plenty of time to relax around the cabin. One of my favorite parts was the hike to Angel's Landing. It was VERY strenuous, especially for someone who is completely out of shape (cough cough), but totally worth it. The last stretch had some crazy drops and narrow paths leading up to the landing at the top that had a view of the whole canyon. It was spectacular, and I was exhausted. I would do it again though! Chris's favorite part was a late night glow-in-the-dark volleyball game with a bunch of the cousins. It was really fun once we figured how to charge up the ball so we could see it! Toward the end of the trip we made a quick trip down to Vegas to try to sort out some house issues. The lenders wanted us to get Nevada drivers licenses to prove we were really going to live there- believe it or not, this is not the most random or annoying thing they have made us do to get this house! The trip turned out to be a waste because we didn't have all our documents, BUT on the way back to the reunion we stopped to get a pregnancy test and found out (in a Walmart bathroom, how classy are we??) that we are expecting our second baby in February 2012! This awesome news obviously made us forget the frustrating trip and we got to tell Chris's parents and siblings in person before we left the reunion. We are so excited to have another baby in the family. I've been feeling a little sick, but hopefully that will start fading soon. I've also had more cravings with this pregnancy than I did with Jake, so part of me is thinking it might be a girl. We'll just have to wait and see! Jake has a little baby that we practice being soft on. Most of the time he is very sweet with it and rocks back and forth when he snuggles with it. We're hoping the biting and throwing that sometimes happens will not carry over to the real baby, but we've got time to work on that! Jake's personality has been showing more and more every day and we love watching him figure things out. He's recently started testing boundaries and learning what jokes and tricks are. He loves to make people laugh and has come up with a new 'silly dance' that he does pretty often to get everyone's attention. He's also turning into even more of a climber and we have to watch him because he is pretty fearless. I had to rescue him from the second shelf in the cupboard the other day. Daddy and Jake continue to wrestle constantly, but now Jake has learned to take control and will roll Chris onto his back and jump on top. It's pretty funny to watch. Jake and I only have a couple weeks left in Houston, as we will be going straight to Las Vegas (and hopefully to our new house) after our Hansen reunion. Chris will come back to Houston and get as much out of summer sales as he can- I'm proud of him for working so hard this summer! He's awesome! Until then, we get to look forward to a week long visit from Grammie Merkley and Chris's youngest siblings in a week from tomorrow! We have been excited for this visit all summer! It will be so fun to have them here and to let Jake get some Grammie/aunt/uncle time :). We love Summer!

Saturdays are our fun day to play with Chris in the afternoon!

Jake loves getting messy- he thinks he's so funny... :)

Matt recently became an Eagle Scout and became the 6th and final Eagle Scout in the family! (7th if you count Dad too)

The view on Angels Landing

Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Ear Infection

Jake got his first ear infection last week. He had been running a fever for a couple days starting during our house business trip in Vegas and continuing after we returned to Houston. Then he woke up screaming at 2 in the morning last Thursday night with a 104 degree fever so we took him to the emergency room and it ended up being an ear infection. Poor little guy, I felt so bad for not noticing any of the symptoms and felt even worse when I realized he probably had it on the flight home! He was a good sport though and is now all better and back to running around our apartment! As sad as it was, I was very grateful that it was SOMETHING because there's nothing worse than having a sick baby when you can't do anything to help. I'm happy to have my happy little man back :).

Monday, May 23, 2011

I forgot to add pictures to that long update, and since everyone knows pictures are the best part I had to post another one! Haha. So here are the missing illustrations to our crazy month :)

Jake has discovered that the cabinets in our Houston apartment are the perfect size for him! He loves climbing in these when I'm working in the kitchen.

We did it!

Jake really enjoyed his birthday cake. He dug right in the second we put it in front of him. What a good BOY.

All of the cousins who made it to Jake's birthday party (except Griffin who was asleep...) We were only missing the Bedell boys!

Me and the birthday boy, with his awesome sports cake that I had a blast making.

Lots of Changes

So, I know I am a terrible blogger, but I have made it a new goal to get better at updating for the sake of preserving memories! Obviously a lot has changed since I made this two years ago, but a lot has changed in the just the last few months on top of that that deserves to be documented so I will start there!
Jacob: Jake turned one this last month and I am blown away by how fast the time has gone! My little baby boy is not a baby anymore. Especially since he has finally decided to take off on two feet this last week. He's been so close for months and one day he just decided he could walk and hasn't stopped since. He waddles around with his arms up (we call it Frankenstein style) and LOVES his new freedom. He's already trying to run, but that usually results in a face-plant at this point. He brings so much joy into our little family with his contagious cheesy smiles and chuckles. He's started blowing kisses and waving as well, which he has learned to use to his advantage with cute girls we pass on the sidewalk, in the grocery store, at church, and pretty much anywhere we go. He makes Chris proud with his expert flirting at any opportunity. Some of his favorite things are: walks (looking for birds and dogs), playing catch (he is actually very good at throwing a ball right to you, another thing Chris is very proud of!), strawberries, sippy cups, wrestling, swimming (he dunks his head under the water repeatedly with dramatic gasps for air in between), and giving kisses (open mouthed, on the lips, slobbery kisses over and over again). We love our little boy and his funny, blossoming personality!
Graduation: Chris and I both graduated from BYU in April with degrees in Exercise Science (Pre-Dental) and Studio Arts. I am still in a small state of denial over the fact that I am completely done with school. I am so excited to be able to stay home with Jake now and not have to fit classes and added stress around spending time with him. And it will be so nice to be able to paint whatever I want and not have to worry about it being graded! The student lifestyle will not entirely escape us quite yet however, as Chris still has at least four years of dental school ahead of him. It was an eventful week with both of our parents in town along with most of my siblings and some of Chris's. Grammie and Grandfather Merkley were able to squish in our apartment and visit with us for a couple days and Jake loved having some time with them. We also fit Jake's birthday party into all the madness so that Grandparents could be there. It was very busy but very fun to have so much family around at once- we were lucky to have so much love and support surrounding that important week! We love you all :)
Texas: After graduation we spent a couple fun days in Wyoming with the Hendersons then came back, frantically packed everything up in 2 days, drove it all down to a storage unit in Las Vegas, then drove ourselves and the bare necessities for 3 days straight down to Houston to put in one last summer of selling. Chris is the sales manager this year and we have my cousin Sharee and Cody, Chris's brother Tim and Tamera, and Chris's cousin Daniel coming down to sell with us, along with friends from previous years so we are very excited for this summer. It will be a blast (with some incredibly hot, humid days and hard work thrown in, but mostly just a blast!).
House: On top of all this craziness going on, we are currently in the process of buying a house in Las Vegas for the four years Chris will be attending the UNLV School of Dental Medicine. We are close to closing on a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a cute little grassy yard and fun climbing trees. We can't wait!
I think this is now a sufficiently overwhelming and incredibly long update-post, so I will just end here. We love you all and thank you for your help during this crazy transition period in our lives. We are so excited to move on to new adventures (even though we kind of already miss the old ones..). Happy summer!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Adventures of Summer Selling

I realized I haven't posted anything since my first one a couple days ago and today I finally have some free time! The summer is flying by- we were shocked to realize it was already halfway over recently- but it has been a good one for us. A couple weeks ago we got to go to a reunion for my immediate family in Yosemite National Park. It was absolutely beautiful and so nice to get a break from work and the humidity! We had fun playing with my family (but we missed the Daltons and Andrew & Kim- we're glad they are in Utah so we will be able to see them all the time). It was a perfect week of fun hikes, floating down the river, relaxing, playing games with family, and hunting for bears for Brian. We were sad to leave.
Other than that, we have just been working like crazy! It's tough sometimes but if it means we don't have to work during the school year than it's worth it! Texas is much different than I expected. I always imagined desert for some random reason, but it is far from that in Houston. It's almost like a tropical climate- super hot and humid, with trees EVERYWHERE! There are actual forests all over, that are gorgeously green and look like rainforests. It's completely flat too, which is the only thing I can't get used to. The freeways are higher than everything else, so when you go on an overpass it's like you're driving into the sky! Chris still loves his job. He is an excellent salesman, but it's not easy. I think that's why he likes it so much. He gets so excited telling me the play-by-plays of how he "sold this guy out of his mind!" He comes home dripping in sweat every night, but he'll still have a smile on his face. He gets more confident every day and is on track to reach his goal for the summer. It has definitely been a blessing for us. This week the office is having a "Reliant Cup," tournament-style competition with a wii as the final first prize. I obviously really want Chris to win, but we will see what happens! I am liking my job in the office still. It's nice to be able to talk to all the guys when they're happy after sales, but it does get a little hard when I get stuck there late. Chris has been getting more cooking practice out of it though :) He is actually a very good cook! I'm hoping for some gourmet Peruvian dinners soon! Overall, it has been a good two months for us. I have been happily surprised that I am enjoying it so much when we are so far from our families- we have been blessed with great friends and opportunities while we have been here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The First Two Weeks

Well, Chris and I have now been married for two weeks! And we still love each other :) What an amazing two weeks it has been! We have pretty much decided that marriage is the greatest invention ever invented. Some of my favorite things that have happened so far...

-being sealed in the San Diego Temple by Grandfather Merkley on May 2, 2009
-feeling very loved as we walked out of the temple to find our families and friends waiting for us
-watching Chris's awesome friends tear it up on the dance floor at our reception
-dancing with my daddy
-driving away in an oreo covered car
-watching the sun set over the ocean from our balcony in puerto vallarta
-sliding down a natural rock slide into the base of a beautiful waterfall
-attempting a snorkeling trip on our own which ended with us collapsed on the shore with jelly-fish stings and a pretty bad cut on my leg...
-watching Chris make a bargaining game out of every purchase
-NOT getting the swine flu
-moving into our first apartment
-making sandwiches to freeze in bulk like my mom used to
-missing our exit every night because Chris is too excited telling me about his day
-cuddling on the couch watching 24
-and getting to spend every day with my best friend :)